Ivan Maisel | ESPN Senior Writer | Jan 9, 2017

TAMPA, Fla. — Really, a team coached by Dabo Swinney couldn’t have won a national championship any other way.

The Clemson coach’s life story could have been written by Horatio Alger, the guy who invented the classic American success story, if Alger had a drawl and ever said, “Bring your own guts.”

Swinney, the former walk-on wide receiver, won his first national championship against his alma mater — the team that denied him a year ago, the monolithic defending national champion Alabama — with 1 second to play, on a throw to a former walk-on wide receiver.

Hunter Renfrow, a sophomore who turned down a scholarship offer from FCS Appalachian State to pay for the chance to play for Swinney, caught the winning 2-yard touchdown pass from the greatest player ever to wear a Clemson uniform.

His name is More >